Bexley City Council on Tuesday night debated the merits of establishing an estate tax debt service fund, an ordinance that was introduced at the Jan. 13 council meeting.

Bexley City Council on Tuesday night debated the merits of establishing an estate tax debt service fund, an ordinance that was introduced at the Jan. 13 council meeting.

City auditor Larry Heiser said money that the city receives through the estate tax could be placed in the fund to pay for capital improvement projects.

"If we get more than $1-million, we can put it in this fund and pay debt service with that," while at the same time maintaining the city's current operations budget, he said.

Council member Mark Masser said one of his fears was running out of money for operating expenses. He said there could be a deficit in the general fund while there was $1-million in the debt service fund.

Others didn't seem worried.

Council member Robin Jones equated the debt service fund to her retirement fund.

"Once it is in that fund... we have to live within our means," she said. "If I put it in an operating account at home I spend it. If we put it in the operating account, history has shown that we spend it."

Finance director Beecher Hale said creating the estate tax fund would allow the city to pull money generated by the estate tax and use it to take care of debt. Once the estate tax money has been placed in the fund, it cannot be put back in the general fund, he said.

"The whole idea is to get it away from operations," he said.

Council members took no action on the legislation to allow for further discussion.